19 Jan / The Quest for the Missing Girl by Jiro Taniguchi, translated by Shizuka Shimoyama and Elizabeth Tiernan
Take notice: this is every parent’s worst nightmare come true. Without warning, 15-year-old Megumi disappears, seemingly without a trace. Her mother has no idea why she might have left or where she might be … and the only clue she has is a very expensive designer handbag filled with pricey make-up which she finds hidden under Megumi’s bed, something the teenager could never afford on her own.
From the mountain shelter swoops down “Uncle” Shiga, Megumi’s father’s best friend. The two used to climb serious mountains together, until Tatsuko froze to death after summiting Daulaghiri (the world’s seventh highest mountain) in the Nepali Himalayas. Shiga still berates himself for not having gone up with Tatsuko, and has since promised to look after Tatsuko’s wife and young child no matter what … and now he’s got to find Megumi before it’s too late.
With the help of a mysterious young man who the city street kids trust, and an unlikely fast-talking school friend of Megumi’s, Shiga learns Megumi’s secrets are hardly innocent. Worried and desperate, Shiga is determined to rescue Megumi … which may well be the last thing he does …
With some of the most realistic black-and-white graphics, manga veteran Taniguchi creates a fast-moving mystery that will keep you turning those pages, quickly and nervously. As warned, if you’re a parent … don’t read this alone at night. Most importantly, make sure you really, really talk to your kids as often as you can. You wouldn’t want to discover their secrets this way for sure! As disturbingly entertaining as this manga is, it does double duty as a parenting guide, too!
Published: 2008 (United Kingdom, United States)